MANILA — With a slow start and a sloppy finish, the University of the Philippines’s (UP) perfect record in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament was very much in danger.
At the end of it all, however, there was Diego Dario to save the day.
With 7.9 ticks to go, Dario took charge and banked in a triple from the top of the key to lift the Fighting Maroons over very game Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC), 61-59, on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“I think we closed the game really bad, but Diego’s shot bailed us out,” a more than appreciative head coach Bo Perasol said.
UP was on its way to a win, up by three with 24 seconds remaining before back-to-back turnovers which were quickly converted into layups gave away the lead to the Generals, 59-58.
Without any timeouts, UP inbounded the ball to Dario who then sprinted to their side of the court and launched a triple from the top of the key. With Sidney Onwubere all over him, he still witnessed the ball kiss the glass before falling to the bottom of the net.
“It was a lucky shot by Diego, but in the end, yung lucky shot by Diego ang nagpanalo,” Perasol expressed.
EAC still had a chance to tie the tally, but Francis Munsayac’s last attempt only grazed the side of the ring.
Dario ended with 14 points built on four triples to back up Paul Desiderio who had 18 points of his own in the Maroons’ third consecutive victory to start the tournament.
“We started flat, but luckily, we calmed ourselves down,” Perasol said.
For the Generals, Munsayac and Jerome Garcia each scored 11 points to lead the losing effort.
Losing another close contest, they fell to a 1-3 standing.
UP 61 – Desiderio 18, Dario 14, Gomez de Liano 9, Lim 6, Manzo 5, Vito 5, Quattara 4, Webb 1, Ricafort 0, Harris 0, Prado 0, Romero 0
EAC 59 – Garcia 11, Munsayac 11, Onwubere 10, Laminou 8, Guzman 6, Bautista 5, Diego 4, Pascua 2, Gonzales 2, Mendoza J 0, Mendoza I 0, Tampoc 0, Corilla 0, Neri 0
Quarter scores: 6-19, 24-29, 41-39, 61-59
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.
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